CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Prunus geniculata

Photographer:
c. Steve Shirah

Heading for profile page
CPC Home Join now
About CPC
CPC National Collection
Conservation Directory Resources
Invasive Plant Species Plant News
Plant Links Participating Institutions
Contribute
Search CPC
Search    Alphabetical List    Reference Finder    CPC Home


CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Prunus geniculata


Family: 
Rosaceae  
Common Name: 
scrub plum
Author: 
Harper
Growth Habit: 
Shrub
CPC Number: 
3643

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


Profile Links
 ITIS
 Tropicos
 PLANTS
 Fish & WildLife

Prunus geniculataenlarge
Photographer: c. Steve Shirah

Prunus geniculataenlarge
Photographer: c. Steve Shirah


Prunus geniculata is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Carl W. Weekley contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Prunus geniculata


Scrub plum (Prunus geniculata) is a woody shrub restricted to xeric upland habitats on the Lake Wales Ridge of Central Florida. It is a member of the rose family (the Rosaceae) which includes peaches, cherries, apricots, almonds and...roses. Scrub plum is very drought tolerant, with small leaves that conserve water and a fibrous root system that can extract moisture from the well-drained soils. Scrub plum is also adapted to the fire ecology of the Ridge sandhill and scrub habitats, resprouting from the roots after a fire.
Scrub plum's overall appearance has been likened to plants found in a Japanese garden. It has a low rounded form, generally growing to 3 to 4 feet tall. Its trunk is gnarled, and partly buried in sand. Older plants are distinguished by graying bark covered with lichens. The name geniculata describes scrub plum's zigzag branches, formed by twigs angled at each node. These angles are like bent knees, "geniculate". Each twig usually ends in a stout spine.
In late summer, plants lose most of their leaves, fully exposing scrub plums "bent knees". In February and March, delicate white flowers with yellow stamens sprout from skeletal branches. Fine toothed leaves develop later, after the plants have begun to set fruit. The miniature plums develop in April and May, ripening to a soft reddish purple. The fruits and the seeds they contain are a treat to wildlife. Scrub plums seedlings are hard to find in the wild, perhaps because the seeds are such delectable treats.


Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Florida
State Range of  Prunus geniculata
Habitat
  It occurs on both white and yellow sands in sandhills and scrub habitats.

Distribution
  Scrub plum is restricted to xeric upland habitats on the Lake Wales Ridge in Highlands, Polk, Lake, Osceola, and Orange Counties.

Number Left
  80+ sites; about 12 protected sites in Highlands, Polk and Orange Counties.

Protection

Global Rank:  
G3
 
6/12/2001
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
1/29/1990

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Florida S2S3 LE 4/12/1990  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Scrub plum is associated with plants typical of sand pine scrub and sandhill ecosystems.

Threats
  Habitat destruction
Fire suppression
Predation of seeds

Current Research Summary
  Research is currently being conducted on the demography, reproductive biology and breeding system of scrub plum (Weekley and Menges 2001).
Scrub plum is andromonoecious, a rare plant breeding system characterized by the presence of male and perfect flowers on the same individual (Weekley et al. in prep.).

Current Management Summary
  Scrub plum is managed with prescribed fire at about a dozen protected sites (e.g., Tiger Creek Preserve, Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, Carter Creek Scrub).

Research Management Needs
  We need to better understand the reproductive biology and seed ecology of scrub plum.

Ex Situ Needs
  An ex situ population is maintained at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Coile, N.C. 2000. Notes on Florida's Regulated Plant Index (Rule 5B-40), Botany Contribution 38. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

Ward, D.B. 1979. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida Volume 5: Plants. Gainseville, FL: University Presses of Florida.

Books (Sections)

Pace-Aldana, B.; Gordon, D.R.; Slapcinsky, J. 2000. Monitoring of scrub palm (Prunus geniculata) on the Lake Wales Ridge. In: Gordon, D.R.; Slapcinsky, J.L., editors. Annual Research Report: A Compilation of Research Conducted or Supported by The Nature Conservancy in Florida. Florida Science and Stewardship Programs and The Nature Conservancy.

Electronic Sources

(2001). Floridata - Encyclopedia of Plants and Nature. [Searchable Web site] Floridata.com LC. http://www.floridata.com/tracks/scrub/endangered/menu_end.htm. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. [Web site] University of South Florida Institute for Systematic Botany. http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/isb/default.htm. Accessed: 2008.

Denton, S. (2001). Photo Library of Native and Naturalized Plants of Florida. Biological Research Associates. http://www.biolresearch.com/Plants/index.php?id=C. Accessed: 2002.

USGS. (2002). Status of Listed Species and Recovery Plan Development. [Web site] USGS: Norther Prairie Wildlife Research Center. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/others/recoprog/plant.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Harper, R.M. 1911. A new plum from the Lake Region of Florida. Torreya. 11: 64-67.

Menges, E.S.; Gordon, D.R. 1996. Three levels of monitoring intensity for rare plant species. Natural Areas Journal. 16, 3: 227-237.

USFWS. 1976. Proposed Endangered Status for 1700 U.S. Plants. Federal Register. 41: 24523-24572.

USFWS. 1986. 18 Plants Proposed for Listing Protection. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 11, 5: 1-13.

Wallace, S.R. 1987. Florida's Scrup Plum. The Center for Plant Conservation. 2, 2: 1.

Wallace, S.R. 1991. Central Florida Scrub: Trying to Save the Pieces. Endangered Species UPDATE. 8, 1: 60-62.

Wallace, S.R.; McMahan, L.R. 1988. A Place in the Sun for the Plants. Garden. 12, 1: 20-23.

Weekley, C.W.; Spigler, R.; Aleric, K. In prep. Andromonoecy in Prunus geniculata (Rosaceae), a woody shrub endemic to the Lake Wales Ridge of Central Florida.

Reports

Klaudisova, A. 1991. Monitoring of Polygala lewtonii, Nolina brittoniana, Prunus geniculata, Crotalaria avonensis, and Bonamia grandiflora in the Lake Wales Ridge area, Polk County, Florida. The Nature Conservancy.

TNC. 1987. The Nature Conservancy Stewardship Abstracts. The Nature Conservancy. p.104.

USFWS. 1989. Recovery plan for eleven Florida scrub plants. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.64.

USFWS. 1996. Recovery Plan for Nineteen Central Florida Scrub and High Pineland Plants (revised). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.134.

USFWS. 1999. South Florida Multi-species Recovery Plan. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region.

Weekley, C.W.; Menges, E.S. 2001. Demography, floral biology and breeding system of scrub plum (Prunus geniculata), a federally listed endangered plant. Jacksonville, FL: Final Report to US Fish and Wildlife Service. p.14+.

Weekley, Carl. 1995. Prunus geniculata Monitoring Plan. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Division of Forestry: Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program.

Weekley, Carl. 1996. Prunus geniculata Monitoring Report #1. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Division of Forestry: Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program.

Weekley, Carl. 1997. Prunus geniculata Monitoring Report. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Division of Forestry: Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
California
Oregon
Washington
Idaho
Nevada
Arizona
Utah
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Minnesota
Iowa
Missouri
Arkansas
Louisiana
Wisconsin
Illinois
Michigan
Michigan
Indiana
Ohio
Kentucky
Tennessee
Mississippi
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
South Carolina
North Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Maryland
New Jersey
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
Vermont
New Hampshire
Maine
New York
New York
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii